AUSTIN, TX: After David Bowie passed earlier this year, Josh Homme and Iggy Pop looked for solace, coming together over a mutual love and influence of the late iconoclast. They met in secrecy, bringing unfinished ideas to the studio to work out into songs together. The record that came out of those sessions, Post Pop Depression, is out today on Loma Vista Recordings; Iggy has said it may be his last album. Thematically, it’s an exploration of one’s legacy, a reflection on an artist at the end of a life of contributions to culture. It’s also pretty good.
To promote the record, Homme hosted a special SXSW edition of his The Alligator Hour show on Beats 1 radio, playing a few of Iggy’s favorite records and discussing them afterwards the Apple Music house in Austin, Texas. Some highlights included Ray Charles’ “What I Say,” which Iggy says was frequently requested by the fraternities whose parties his band used to play in high school, and Gary Numan’s “Cars.” “In the ’70s, there was a projection of the future,” Homme said of Numan’s synthed-out krautrock-influenced jam. “It didn’t turn out that way, but that vision of the future still sounds great to this day. To me that song sounds as modern as when it came out. It travels well.”
Iggy also sang the praises of Bob Seger, Schoolly D, Biz Markie, and Eric B. & Rakim. In one particularly endearing memory that Iggy shared, he recalled a “cautionary sex education film” he watched in high school; “When the “bad girls” in the film came on, the sax came in, like whoaaaa!” he said. “I never forgot that film.”
After the pair played a few records, they held a short Q&A, taking questions from the small audience in attendance. An editor from Nerdist asked what songs make them feel “young at heart”; Iggy’s were Frank Sinatra, and Death Grips’ “I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States” (“It makes me feel great,” he said). Homme is partial to Descendents “Parents,” from the 80s classic Milo Goes to College, and “music my grandparents listen to.” They discussed the freedom of judgement-free collaboration, the need to feel free enough to experiment, and to be honest with each other.
We asked Iggy and Homme about their favorite rituals for listening to music; essentially, how they find their happy place. Iggy did not disappoint — he says he trawls the most obscure music reviews he can find, often picking albums and bands by name, having “discovery hours in the nude, in a tiki hut.” He loves to blast music with the screen door open in his house “in a poor neighborhood.” Homme has a more physically active ritual: “I love to be in my garage and do yard work, dig a ditch and fix a sprinkler,” he said. “The music is not background, the activities are background. I like driving and riding a motorcycle with headphones in the helmet. It’s my soundtrack to not dying. Sometimes I just go to tell everyone I am working and I don’t.”
Look for the broadcast to air soon on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio; the page for The Alligator Hour can be found here. Listen to Post Pop Depression on Spotify below.